Grundig Satellit 300
Manufactured by Grundig, Fürth.
In 1983, in the wake of the Sony ICF-2001, Grundig launched the first „Satellit“ receiver with microprocessor control. However, the Satellit 300 was only a single conversion superhet and proved mediocre performance on the shortwave bands at a considerable price tag. The set was accused, it should better have assigned a „Yacht Boy“ model designation.
- Principle: single conversion superhet, IF 450 kHz / FM 10.7 MHz
- Frequency range: FM, LW, MW, 2 x SW (3.9 - 10.5 MHz / 10.5 - 22 MHz)
- Frequency display: digital display, 1 kHz
- Frequency memories: 35 memories
- Features: direct frequency input, clock / timer
- Sensitivity: AM (A3) / Selectivity: kHz (-6/-60 dB)
- Mains operation: 110-127, 220-240 V
- 304 x 180 x 70 mm, weight 2.2 kg
Thanks to the progress to digital technology, the size of the Satellit 300 could be reduced, so there is now room for other travel accessories in the suitcase… The set, with the dimensions 30.5 x 18 x 7 cm and a weight of 2.15 kg, has a mains connector, but can also be operated from 6 UM-2 / baby cells for radio operation and 3 UM-3 clock/memory backup batteries.
Switches on the top of the set select the different wavebands, but you have to manually switch between the shortwave bands 1 (3.9 - 10.5 MHz) and 2 (10.5 - 22 MHz).
Most of the left half of the front panel is taken up by the speaker grill, at least the Satellit 300 has the pleasant audio quality in common with its siblings… Underneath is the main switch, which also activates the timer function.
To the right, below the large S-meter, are the three slider controls for volume, bass and treble. Unfortunately, on older sets the slider controls tend to malfunction due to dirt and oxidation.
At the right below the frequency display, which indicates the frequency in the AM bands with an accuracy of 1 kHz, there is a whole row of keys for the search, timer and memory functions. For example, SET 6 - 1 - 5 - 5 FREQ can be used to call up the Austrian Radio Intl. on 6155 kHz, provided that the correct shortwave band SW1 is activated, otherwise the display flashes to indicate that the entered frequency is incorrect. Use the SET - numeric key 1 - 9 STORE keys to store seven frequencies in each range, the AUTO-TUNING key activates a scan in the activated band. Fortunately, the Satellit 300 can also be tuned manually; it has a tuning knob with an electronic flywheel effect.
Operation, as with other microprocessor-controlled sets, takes some experience. Sometimes, you follow the thoughts of the development engineers, but there are other receivers with even more tedious control sequences, not all sets can be operated as easy as the Sony sets. Since the receiver comes without any technical gimmicks such as a preselector, BFO or passband tuning, operating errors do not occur that often.
The set was not only available in silver colour, as shown above, but also in black.
In summary, the Satellit 300, Grundig's first microprocessor-controlled world band receiver, did not live up to its name. Performance and large signal handling are insufficient, only a part of the shortwave spectrum is covered, narrow IF filters or even possibilities of SSB reception are missing.
The high price, which was due to the fact that microprocessor technology was still in its infancy and correspondingly expensive, is not anymore justified today. If you can get one at a reasonable price, however, the small Grundig Satellit can compete with cheap receivers from the discounter. The fact that the German „Stiftung Warentest“ receiver test gave the set a quality rating of „good“ could not be understood by many shortwave listeners at the time…
Single conversion, digital PLL frequency synthesis.
The set is equipped with semiconductors.